Better to just be yourself in David Green’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. The story centers on the four reptilian, pizza-loving crimefighters named after Renaissance artists, and picks up where its 2014 predecessor left off. We haven’t watched that predecessor, nor any of the other adaptations of the comics, live-action or otherwise, so the characters were fresh, even if the movie was predictable. Playing the liaison for the turtles, Megan Fox sets the plot into motion as she chases down a mad scientist (Tyler Perry) working with a villain to open another dimension for a supervillain, Krang. A little like the baby from Total Recall, Krang is a pugnacious brain embedded into a robot’s body, a funny character who sounds like Yoda if Yoda were evil and didn’t twist his syntax. If you already have blockbuster/superhero/comic-book fatigue this movie is not for you. In no way does TMNT 2 deviate from The Formula. If you’re a hardcore fan of the turtles you may or may not like the degree to which the movie introduces the characters to newcomers, stressing each turtle’s name and characteristic like a TV show. This we appreciated because we were newcomers. What matters is that there is a talking rhino and a talking warthog, both of whom are homicidal.  What matters is that the action sequences are expensive and realistic looking, the CGI and motion capture state-of-the-art. What matters is that the movie goes more for laughs than for sobriety. If that’s what matters to you.

By Alec Julian & Carrie White


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